There are very few things in the universe that can reflect the beauty of our natural satellite, the Moon, visible to the human eye. The eternally fascinating charm of the Moon has been captured in many forms throughout human history, from drawings and poems to stories and lenses!
In recent months, a multitude of captivating photographs of astronauts and astrophotographers have gone viral on social media. A few of these stunning images are listed below and we bet the story behind them will make you feel part of this beautiful journey with our Moon.
Astronauts capture a crescent moon from the ISS
The fascinating crescent is perhaps the most fascinating phase of the Moon. While it’s always a source of wonder why the crescent moon appears the way it does, the answer most of us would prefer is that it’s smiling at us.
A photo (at the top of this article) of the crescent moon rising above Earth started trending, and it was no ordinary photo but was taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS ). The photo was taken with a digital camera as the International Space Station flew over the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand.
The beautiful photograph illustrates how the last rays of the setting sun penetrate through the many layers of the atmosphere. The images show a multicolored orbital sunset gradually changing from orange near the Earth’s surface to turquoise at the edge of space. The Rayleigh scattering principle, named after the 19th century British physicist Lord Rayleigh, explains these unique colors.
According to the theory, we observe such lights when electromagnetic radiation with shorter wavelengths, such as visible light, is scattered by particles with shorter wavelengths, such as air molecules. According to NASA, the different shades symbolize the first four layers of the atmosphere: the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere and the thermosphere. The light scattered in each layer of the atmosphere is different because the density of gas particles in each layer varies.
The image was taken on December 6, 2021 by an anonymous member of the Expedition 66 crew which consisted of a group of seven astronauts from NASA, the European Space Agency, the Japan Space Agency. Exploration and the Russian State Space Corporation, Roscosmos.
After sharing the image with the world, NASA’s Earth Observatory on December 31, 2021, in a statement said: “This image offers a symbolic end to the year 2021 and a glimpse of the next ambition from NASA for manned exploration.”
Full snow moon from the ISS
The symbolic use of the Moon to represent love and romance is age-old. This year, Valentine’s Day fell very close to the Full Snow Moon, and fortunately astronomers aboard the ISS were ready to capture the union. NASA Astronaut Mark Vande Hei caught the glorious Moon gazing above Earth against the dark backdrop of vast space.
Mark Vande Hei is on track to mark the longest spaceflight in human history with 355 days in low Earth orbit. “Amazingly bright as I opened our blinds, the Moon lingered, strutting,” he said, sharing the snap on Twitter.
“Our astronauts are incredible explorers who are helping us learn more about how humans can live and work in space for longer periods of time. Mark’s record-breaking mission and contributions to science are paving the way for more people to travel to space on longer missions as the agency pushes the boundaries of exploration to the Moon and Mars. Thank you for your service, Mark, and congratulations,” the administrator said. of NASA, Bill Nelson, in a recent press release.
The astronaut witnessed the full moon a day after Valentine’s Day when the ISS station orbited at an altitude of 420 kilometers above the Pacific Ocean.
Amateur Astronomer Captures ISS Crossing Moon in Great Detail
It’s hard to be an astrophotographer! You have to find secluded places devoid of any light pollution (usually hundreds of miles from cities), carry large equipment, and wait for the opportune moment when something remarkable happens in the sky and (hopefully) you click the right frame at the right time.
It happened with French amateur astronomer Thierry Legault who had to travel 250 km from home in thick fog to capture an event that lasted 1/2 second as the ISS crossed the Moon at 27,000 km / h . And he succeeded! The result is a stunning image with such incredible detail that one could make out the faint grid pattern on the ISS solar arrays.
The image, taken on January 18, is believed to be the most detailed photograph of the ISS passing in front of the Moon.
For weather, science, space and COVID-19 updates on the go, download The Weather Channel app (on the Android and iOS store). It’s free!